Pennsylvania Republicans are trying to eliminate the winner-take-all system for electoral votes, a move that might boost their presidential candidate’s chances in a state that picked the Democrat in the past five races.
With the backing of Republican Governor Tom Corbett, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi has proposed a plan, similar to ones under consideration in four other states, that would apportion 18 of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes according to victory in congressional districts.
This would assure the Republican of some votes because of boundaries drawn to preserve party dominance, said Chris Borick, a political-science professor and director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion in Allentown. The move comes as Republicans across the country are fighting to tighten voting rules.
“They’re all motivated by the same agenda to increase Republican share and representation,” said Daniel P. Tokaji, a law professor at Ohio State University and associate director of its Election Law @ Moritz center.
U.S. states have Electoral College votes equal to the number of their members of the House of Representatives, plus two for their senators. Forty-eight states grant all electoral votes to the statewide victor of the presidential race, who must claim 270 to win office. The nation’s founders created the system as a compromise between having Congress elect the president and having citizens do it directly.